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C 3 ] 

FELLOW citizens! 


O fee the fufferings of my fellow creature?, 
" And own myfelf a man !" 

Is a fympathy which does honour to hu- 
man nature j and is a fubjed; which re- 
quires inveftigation. 

In this enhghtened and happy land, 
where liberty has been purchafed by 
an ocean of blood, it re-echoes in folemn 

Or, but in dreams, to hear and fee 
powerful men 

" Cheat the deluded people with a fhew 
" Of Liberty, which yet they ne'er muft tafte of: 
" They fay by them our h^nds arc free from fetters, 
" Yet whom they pleafe they lay in bafeft bonds ; 
" Bring whom they pleafe to infamy and forrow; 
" Drive us like wrecks down the rough tide of 

" power, 
*' Whilft no hold's left to fave us from deftru^tion. 
" All that bear this are villains, and I one, 

A 2 « Not 

[ 4 ] 

** Not to roufe up at the great call of nature, 

" And check the growth of thefe domeftick fpoilers, 

" That make us flaves, and tell us it's our charter." 

diftraifl and fet the imagination wild. 

The voyagers and hiftorians' pages of 
infidel countries mark the features of the 
rational man with the deepeft afflidion, 
and harrow up his whole foul : That the 
agitations of our learned and pious Uni- 
verfity of Cambridge, followed by the 
counties of Huntingdon and city of York, 
and other counties and places, publickly 
exprefTed, upon fimilar brutalities fuggeft- 
ed to be exercifed in Chriftian countries, 
do high honour to the feveral petitioning 
individuals and the national charadler. 

It will be admitted, that men's defires 
of being great increafe in proportion to 
their flrength and power. Hence con- 
quefts; hence, as the uniform experience 
throughout the whole world conftantly 
evinces, commerce leads her avaricious 
fons; and hence our fallen nature ! 

That whenever we are'ferious, we, who 
profefTedly are Chriftians and enlightened 
by the Gofpel, muft, beyond all doubt, 


[ 5 ] 

begin a reform by an amendment of our 
own hearts, and the fubduing our ambition 
and pajjions totally. Ambition travelled 
us into the north, fouth, eaft, and weft -, 
and the pretext goes forth, — the pub- 
lick good! 

The fubjed: is torn from his friends, his 
children, and his family, for, the pub- 
lick good ! So far above all confidera- 
tions, and fo much virtue there is in the 
PUBLIC K GOOD, that WQ have heard, " No 
" matter about the man, it is a general 


PUBLICK good! I will then meet the 
queftion refpeding the Guinea Trade, 
and fo far as it may go to affed: fuch of 
thofe of that race of people as are fettled 
in our Weft India iflands, particularly Bar- 

We learn, not from " A fhort Hijiory 
** of Bar badoes^'" publillied in 1768, and 
fold by Dodlley ; a work in the ftyle of an 
auctioneer's catalogue, but with nothing of 

" From my own Note ; on a Motion in the Court 
of King's Bench, 25 November, 1776, for an Habeas 
Corpus in the Cafe of John Tubbs. 

A 3 its 

[ 6 ] 

its honefty of report or genius, that Bar- 
badoes is rather lefs rha?2 the count^ of 
Rutland, the fmalleit county in England ''. 

This NOBLE ISLAND, juftly eflecmed 
the moft valuable plaatation, ' for its fize, 
that ever this nation poflefTed, as my au- 
thor expreifes himfelf, maintained in the 
year 1661, fv/ithin thirty-iix or thirty- 
feven years of the firft landing of Englifi- 
tnen'\ ^our hundred sail of fhips. 

The runnmg cafli computed about two 
hundred thoufand pounds ; their annual ex- 
ports toGreat Britain at leaft three hun- 

the money arifing to the Exchequer 
f^. 35,000 per AM-jUM. 

This nation acquired in twenty years, 
that is, between 1636 to 1656, two mil- 
lions in money, by Barbadoes. 

In the next twenty years, that is, from 
1656 to 1676, there mufthave been gained 

FOUR millions. 

To 1736, the (^ictoi one hundred years, 
this nation received twelve millions 

^ Harris's Collection of Voyages, vol. II. page 
256, printed in 1748, 


[ 7 ] 

in iilver, and had fifty thousand of 
her inhabitants maintained by the people 
in that colony all the time. With re- 
gard to the value of thefe colonies, [the 
foreign and our own] it is very eafy to per- 
ceive that there is hardly any computatioii 
to be made at all, for we may truly af- 
firm, that the produce of Barbadoes is very 
near equal to a twentieth part of what 
Spain receives from the Indies annually y 
in time of peace, and from thence we 
may eafily judge of the reft. I have in- 
fifted the longer upon this topick, becaufe 
it may enable us to form fome notion of 
what might be made of our plajjtatiojts, 
if we attended to them as much as they 
deferve -, for though it may be, and per- 
haps is impoffible to improve any of them 
in proportion to what has been done in 
Barbadoes, ye we may well enough difcern 
from hence, that they might be made in- 
conteftably more profitable to us than 
they now are, or indeed than the whole 
TRADE that we now poiTefs; and if, at 
the fame time we refled: on this, we like- 
wife confider that there is nothing fo ab- 
A 4 folutely 

[ 8 ] 

folutely in our power, as the improvement 
of our colonies -, it will moft certainly ap- 
pear to be the point, which, of all others y 
imports us moft. 

** Now," continues my author, '*If the 
tain have received fuch an addition from 
the fugar colonies, as added greatly to the 
riches and ftrength of the kingdom; and 
if Barbadoes has the honour to {^2.ndfore- 
moji in the fugar trade, (as the firft founder 
of it) ho%v well has fie deferved o^ htr xno- 
ther country !" 

For my part I will affirm, when Lord 
North became her advccc'te, and pathe- 
tically ftated' the afflidiions that £he had 
then juft fuffered, that noble lord was not 
* perfeBly. conjijlent when, having fcarcely 
breathed forth her unfeigned woes, with 
his next breath he propofed and laid an 
additmial tax upon her produce, thr^t, in 
its amount and tendency, over paid the 
^. 80,000 grant more than five hundred 

•= See my Letter to his Lordfhip, publifned in the 
Noon Gazette and Daily Spy, 3o,th March, 1781. 


[ 9 ] 

times. And alas ! fhe furely deferved higher 
inflances of the benevolence of her mother 
country than fo to be fhackled in the hour 
of defolation. But her agent, who 
had the honour of a feat in the Houfe of 
Commons, ought not to have h^^rvjiknt, as 
he wasj for unqueftionably he owed the 
confidence with which he had the honour 
to be veiled by his country, his fulleft and 
warmeft exertions, and never more fo than 
at that miferable jundiure, to have repro- 
bated in the face of the noble lord fuch 
his lordjhip' s /pedes of benignity. 

I will return to my author. He fays, 
'* I know not any fubjed; that either can 
" or ought to give an Englifi reader more 
** pleafure than the conlideration of what 
** has been obtained by the bleffing of 
" God, upon the virtue and indiijiry of his 
" countrymen." 

Hear! Virtue and industry! not 


It has been left to the prefent day to throw 
out afperfions of brutal favagenefs in the 
laws of this colony. It fliall be my en- 
deavour to refcue this colony from every 


r 1° ] 

vile and flanderous afperlion; of which 
you can be able to judge latisfaclorily but 
by a review of the laws in force. 

** "All ilaves flmll be clothed once a 
year, upon pain of forfeiting ^s, for 

" ^ The provoft marfhal fhall keep and 
detain in the cage, which fhall always 
be kept mfufficient repair, all runaway 
or fugitive negroes that may be taken 
up and brought to him, the mafter or 
owner not being known j and ihall give 
fuch negroes fujficient food and drink, 
which, if required, fliall be proved upon 
oath; and if fuch Have fhall die for 
want of food, the marfhal fliaii be re- 

" ^ Slaves committing or attempting to 
commit capital crimes againfl white 
people, SHALL BE TRIED by two juf- 
tices and three freeholders of the vi- 
cinage, the freeholders htingfrjifvorn 
before the two juflices; viz. ** You, 

"^ Hall's Compilation of the Laws of Barbadoes, 
N" 82, entitled " An Act for the governing of Ne- 

groes," CI. 6. 

CI. 7. 8. 9. f CI. 12. 


[ II ] 

« and each of you, do fwear on the holy 
" evangelifts of Almighty God, that you 
" will well and truly hear and examine all 
" evidences, proofs, and teftimonies, that 
" ihall be given you on the trial of the 
" Negroe A. now before us, on a charge 
" of felony alledged againft him, by B. C. 
*' and fhall faithfully deliver your feveral 
" opinions to us, whether he be guilty or 
" not." 

And, ° after judgment of death, jnay ap- 
peal, by writ of error, to be heard before 


' " Any perfon fending off his Negroe 
« that has killed another, fhall pay the 
** value of the Negroe killed." 

' ** Where a flave fuffers death, he fliall 
*« be valued not exceeding ^(^25. which_^ 
*« lofs fhall be born by the public to fatisfy 
" the damages of the party injured ; and the 
" overplus, if any, fliall go to the ma^kr. 
** But thej uftices fhall enquire by witnelfes, 
" on their oaths, if fuch Have was properly 

2 N° 180. CI. 2. ^ N« 82. a. 12. ' CI. 15. 16. 

I " provided 

[ 12 ] 

" provided with provificii and necefTaries; 
" and if it appears that he was compelled 
" by neceffity to commit the crime, the 
*' mafter fhall be paid nothing from the 
" treafury." 

^ " Any flave convicted of petty larceny 
** before a juilice fhall be whipped, not 


'" Mutinous, or rebellious ilaves, shall 
" BE TRIED by martial law. 

"" " If any Have fhall difcover and prove 
" any confpiracy, he fliall be manumit- 
*' TED and made free, and flrall be fent 
** off or fliall remain in the Ifland and re- 
" ceive 40^-. {at his choice,^ at the public 
" expence." 

" " When any flave fliall be fet free, the 
" perfon manumitting fliall pay to the 
" Church Warden of the Parifli X 50- ^^ 
" be improved by the Veftry, who fhall 
•* diredl the Church Warden to pay ^4. 
" annually to t\\t freed perfon -, recoverable 
" from the Church Warden in a fummary 
" way by a warrant from a Juftice ° of 
" the Peace." 

* CI. 13. ^ CI. 14. '"N^gi. "NoiSo, C1.6. 

•N» 30. CI. II. 


[ '3 ] 

Wherever this code of lav/s does not 
breathe like the magnanimity of our 


like all the subsequent bulwarks of 
our conftitutlon, your minds are to con- 
template whatever may feem irreconcilable, 
whether you denominate them errors, or 
you pleafe to call them v/ickednelTes, that 
they are yet founded upon the idea of Order 
and THE PUBLIC good, or fafety, which 
is fynonymous, borrowed from your own 


With a noble and virtuous confcioufnefs, 
the a6ls of the legiflature fpeak this plainly : 
" ^ For as much as the Negroes and other 
** Haves brought unto the people of this 
** Illand, 2iVQO^ barbarous y wild and fav age 
" nature y and fuch as renders them wholly 
" unqualified to be governed by the laws, 
*' cufloms, and pradiices of cz/r ;z^//(5;z; It 
" therefore becoming abfolutely necelTary, 
** that fuch other conflitutions, laws and 
*' orders, fhould be in this liland framed 
*' and enadied for the good regulating or 
** ordering of them, as may both reilrain 

P N» 82. Preamble. 


[ H ] 

*' the diforders, rapines ^ and inhumanities, to 
** which they are naturally prone and in- 
** chnedy with fuch encouragements and al- 
** lowances as are fit and needful to their 
** fupport; that from both, this Ifland 
** through the bleffing of God thereon, 
*' may be preferved, his Majefty's fubjedls 
** in their lives and fortunes fecured, and 
" the Negroes and other Haves be well 
** provided for, and guarded from the 
" cruelties ajid injoknces, of themfelves, or 
** other ill temper 'd people or Owners.", 
^ Again. *' x\nd whereas many heinous 
^' and grievous crimes, as murder, burg- 
*^ iaries, robbing in the highways, rapes, 
** burning of houfes or canes, be many 
*' times committed by Negroes, or other 
" fiaves, and many times malicioufly at- 
** tempted by them to be committed, in 
*■* which, though by divers accidents they 
" are prevented, yet are their crimes never- 
*'•' tlieleis heinous, and therefore defervq 
*' the like punifhment j as alfo do many 
** times fteal, wilfully kill, maim, or de- 
** l>i'oy one or more horfes, mares, geld- 
** ings, cattle, flieep, or other quick or 

^- N" 82. Preamble to ci;iufe the 12th. 

*' dead 

[ IS ] 

" dead thing of the like nature, and of 
** the value of twelve pence or above : and 
** many times by attempting to ileal from 
** the inhabitants of this Ifland, flock, and 
** other goods before mentioned, of above, 
" or under the value aforefaid, do put 
** fuch inhabitants, or fome of his family 
** m terror, dread or jeopardy oi their lives, 
** w^hich feveral offenders for danger of 
** efcape are not long to be imprifoned; 
** and being brutilh flaves, deferve not for 
" the bafenefs of their condition, to be 
*' tried by the legal trial of twelve men of 
^' their peers or neighbourhood, which 
*' neither truly can be rightly done, as 
" the fubjedis of England are, nor, is exe- 
" cution to be delayed towards them, in 
** cafe of fuch horrid committed." 
Yet no cannon's mouth roars out their 
diffolution into atoms; nor, in the worft 
of crimes and mofl defperate fiercenefs, are 
they prevented from* kneeling or pro- 
flrating themfelves to the Deity of their 
worfliip before they fall to a juft fentence. 

That the reprefentation here given of 
thefe people is accurate, and thefe fears 
well founded, every voyager affords you 


[ i6 ] 

high reafons to be perfuaded; but of iiieir 
frequent plots and confpiracieSi and jiiptrior 
numbers in this liland you may read, in 
particular, in the collediion of voyages to 
which I referred you before. 

So of the native ferocity on i6th Oc- 
tober, 1728, in an attack upon William's 
Fort, at Whydah in Africa, under the 
King of Dahome with twenty thoufand 
blacks, which you may read in the journals 
of the houfe of Commons, vol. xxi. 3 
Geo. II. March 6th, 1729. 

And the wifdom and policy of thefe laws 
of this Illand of Barbadoes will be allowed 
and refped:ed by you, when you find very 
fimilar warinefs in the ad of 23. Geo. II. 
c. 31 fee. 28. viz. " Traders, for the fe- 
" curity of their goods and Jlaves, may 
• *' build houfes under the protection 


Now then we will turn an eye to thefe peo- 
ple on the refpe6tive eflates of the Planters. 
Each family, confifling ufually of about 
fix or eight perfons, is accommodated with 
a thatched houfe, not unlike a villager's 
cottage i they are clothed, they have al- 
2 lowances 

[ 17 ] 

lowances of Indian and Guinea corn, fait, 
(which they prefer to almoft every thing) 
herrings, pilchards, cod, (much more fre- 
quently indeed before that accurfed and 
wicked war which feparated the brave and 
virtuous Americans from us) yambs, plan- 
tains, peafe, beans, potatoes, moloffes and 

On an allotment of ground, which they 
have with their cottage, they may plant 
what they pleafe, except ' cotton and gin- 
ger; and they breed poultry, pigs, and 
kids, which they either confume them- 
felves, or fell, and furnifh themfelves with 
other little luxuries. 

An apothecary, at a falary of 30 or £ 40. 
a year, in proportion to the number, vifits 
conftantly twice a week; in difficult cafes 
a phyfician or fargeon, learned and fkilful, 
is called in as the cafe may be, whofe fee on 
going out of town two or three miles is 
£ 5 each vifit. 

In refpecft of di{l:ri(fl, they are all re-' 
ilrained to the boundaries of their mafter's 

Barbadoes laws N* 164. CI. 4. 

B klids5 

[ '8 ] 

lands; and feveraP laws are enabled for pre- 
venting the afiembling of Negroes in large 
mixed bodies , and at hiickjlers fbops, where 
they would be fure to commit enormities, 
felonies y and other crimes. Thefe laws can 
no more be difpen/ed with than the people 
at Whydah would be fafe to extend their 
buildings beyond the protection of 


Never again therefore let it be heard 
among you, without deteftation, and a 
fufpicion of the heart of that man who is 
bold and impudent enough to affert, that the 
Planters are uncivilized^ and bear 7io regard 
for the life of a fellow creature. 

Suffer your minds to contemplate cool- 
ly the number of vagabonds you have 
throughout this kingdom : contemplate 
alfo the m.ultitudes of unfortunate men 
releafed from time to time out of prifons 
by adls of grace, which fet them at liberty, 
'tis true; but at the fame time, leaves 
them at little better more than the liberty 
of Jlarving, 

' N° 92. 93. 164. 196. 


[ '9 ] 

The flaves work, and are under fubor- 
dination; but, on the other hand, are 
maintained at confiderable expence, and 
become 2^/?/z^/ to others ; useful to you 
YOURSELVES. Whofe condition is the 
moft happy ? By which cf thefe is man- 
kind moil benefited? 

I will flop my pen under an hope 
that your philanthropy will apply itfelf to 
fellow fubjed:s totally unprovided fit ^ and 
while you give ih^xn freedom ^ you will give 
them bread alfo. 

An other point worthy of you prefents 
itfelf IN THIS KINGDOM, viz. th^ uncqual 
fate of numbers of clergymen; and in 
honour of true religion defcrves your be- 
nignity and Chriflian regard, ere the hearts 
and manners of difliant people are indifcri- 
minately reviled. 

The next point that I am to confider 
flands merely fpeculatively in the face of 
a fubje6t which has been frequently before 
parliament, which has continually received 
the fanBion of parliament : but the mif- 
fortune is, that, with all the energy of 
humanity that can be enforced, it is not 
B z on 

[ 20 ] 

on fo broad a bafis, as not to leave a wrec^ 

If you abolifh your flave trade, the very 
motives that induce you to it argue that 
all the flaves in the Weft Indies ought to 
be fet free ; or, where will be your princi- 
ple, where your juftice? And if you are 
difpofed to manumit thofe in the Weft 
Indies, I will afk, where will be the inte- 
grity of your laws, which have injUtutcd and 
confirmed thefe pofTeffions, as much as hu- 
man power can form and afluri^ the nature 
and tenure of property, and upon which 
the Planter and others have ever placed 
their entire confidence ? The6 Ann.c. 37, 
fee. 1 8, recognifes the laws in force within 
the feveral iflands, for the prevefJiing"^ the 
carrying off any fiave without the confent of 
the owner, and enads, that all command- 
ers of private (liips of war, or merchant 
fhips having letters of marque, Jhall be fiib- 
jeSi to fuch laws. 

The 5 Geo. II. c. 7, entitled, " An 
" Adt for the more eafy Recovery of Debts 

» As to Barbadoes Laws, fc-e N° 30, cL 21; 
N* 59, cl. II ; N* no, cl. I : afterwards the afl? 
N» 117, cl. 25 i N* 159, cl- I ; N" 203, cl. I, 3. 

[ 2. ] 

** in His Majefly's Plantations and Colo- 
" nies in America," fee. 4, enadls, That 
the houfes, lands, negroes", and other 
real eflrates, fituate within any of the 
Plantations, belonging to any perfon in- 
. deb ted, fhall be liable to all jufl debts and 
demands, 2.r\dJJoall be ajfets^ in like manner 
as real ejlates are by the laiv of England 
liable to die fatisfacftion of debts due by 
bond, and fhall be fubje6t to the like reme- - 
dies in any court of law or equity in the 
Plantations, in like manner as perfonal 

I will not tire you with long or many 
extracts from the laws of Barbaboes, or 
from the Journals of the Britifli Houfe of 
Commons, or from Britifli a6ts of parlia- 
ment, to fhow you the abfolute ntcemty 
that has ever required the fervice and la- 
bour of negroes, and ever been fo held j or 
the planters particular interefts ; but I 
lliall, within three minutes, open to you 
YOUR OWN individual and national henejits 
and advantages derived from that trade. 
The preamble of the ad of Barbadoes, 

^ Barbadoes Laws, N» 42, N<» 60. 

B 3 N- 

[ 22 ] 

N" 42 (in the year 1668) declares, 
" Whereas a very conjiderable part of the 
" wealth of this iflai^d, confiils in our ne- 
" groe Haves, without whofe labour and 
'* fervice we fhould be utterly unable to 
" manage our plantations here." 

The preamble of the 9 and 10 William 
III. c. 26> declares, " Whereas the trade to 
** Africa is highly beneficial to the planta- 
*' tions and colonies." 

Mr. Ward, 8 Ann, 17 March, 1708, 
reported from the committee of the whole 
houfe, upon the petition '' of the Royal 
African Company for the prefervation of 
their trade, firfl: refolution, " That it is 
** the opinion of this committee, that the 
" trade to Africa is very advantageous and 
** NECESSARY to the plantations:" which, 
upon the queftion, was refolved iinani- 

The preamble of the ad; 23 Geo. II. 
c. 31, entitled, " An Ad for extending 
** and improving the Trade to Africa," 
declares, " Whereas the trade to and from 

"" Petition was prefented 20th January, 1708. 
Journals of the Houfe of Commons, Vol. XVI. 

" Africa 

[ 23 ] 

". Africa is very advantageous and ne- 
** CESSARY for the fupplying the planta- 
'* tions and colonies v^ith a fufficient num- 
" ber of negroes, at reafonable rates." 

Now", for the national advantages de- 

As the planters flourifhed and encreafed, 
fo did their demands for BritiJJj manufac- 
tures, and necefiaries oi life, fuch as they 
could not produce in thofe climates ; which 
opened another trade to the Britifli mer- 
chants, to furnifh thefe new colonies with 
wine from Madeira. . .Thefe branches of 
trade were of the utmoil: advantage to 
Great Britain; for as much as they 
took no money out of the kingdom, but 
yearly brought in large f urns for BritiJJj ma- 
?mfaBtires carried out -, yet w^ere fupplied 
with negroes by the Dutch till the year 

After the Ufurper's quarrel with the 
Dutch, the Barbadians were compelled, 
by an ordinance of parliament, to bring all 
their fugars diredtly to England, which was 
imitated by the miniftry after the Refloration 
B4 of 

[ 24 ] 

©f king Charles II. and was the found a^ 


The preamble of 9 and i o William III. c. 
26. before cited, declares, the trade to Africa 
is highly beneficial and advantageous to 
THIS KINGDOM :andfe6tion 2 lays Open the 
trade to all the fubjedis of England (which 
trade, by grant from Charles II. was wholly 
in the hands of, and confined to the Royal 
African Company of England) paying ten 
per cent, to the African Company towards 
the charge of their forts. 

The Houfe of Commons, 8 Ann. 17 
. March, -1708, upon the petition of the 
Royal African Company, 20 January (for 
the prefervation of their trade, by an ex- 
clufive trade to be granted them, flating 
among other reafons, that the expedient of 
an open trade to all perfons, had not an- 
fwered its ends) refolved u7ianimouJly ^ 

Firft, That the trade to Africa is very 
advantageous to Great Britain. 

Secondly, That the trade ought to be 
free to all her Majefty's fubjeds, in a re- 
gulated company, under rules for the pre^ 
fsrvation of the trade. 


[ 25 ] 

Which petition of the Royal African 
Company brought in feveral other peti- 
tions, viz. 

A petition " of divers merchants, fepa- 
rate traders from the port of London 
to the coaft of Africa, and thence to the 
Plantations, on behalf of themfelves, and 
others concerned in the faid trade. 

A petition of the mayor, aldermen, com- 
mon council, of the City of Exon, and 
of the merchants and other traders in the 
woollen manufactories, in the said 


A petition ^ of the gun-makers, cutlers, 
and powder-makers, inhabiting in and 
about the City of London. 

A petition'' of the merchants and 
planters, feparate traders to Africa, inte- 
refted in, and trading to, the plantations 
of Virginia and Maryland. 

A petition of divers Shipwrights, rope- 
makers, fail-makers, anchor-fmiths, and 
divers other tradefmen, in behalf of them- 

* Journals of the Houfe of Commons, vol. XVL 
7 Ann. 27 January, 1708. 

' 28 January. * 29 January. 


[ 26 ] 

felves, and many others, inpiabitants 
OF London, V/apping, Lime-House, 
&c. and places adjacent, employed- in na- 
val architecture, and manufac- 

A petition * of the cottons, ferge-makers, 
and other WOOLLEN manufactures. 

A petition of feveral tradefmen inhabit- 
ing in and ABOUT London. 

A petition of the mayor, aldermen, and 
common council of the City of Bris- 
tol, on behalf of themfelves, and the reft 
of the traders and artificers of the faid 

A petition'' of the merchants, and own e r s 
OF SHIPS, in THE port of White- 

A petition'^ of the mayor, aldermen,and 
burgeffes, together with other principal 
inhabitants and traders of the corpora- 
tion OF Taunton, greatly con- 
cerned in the woollen manufac- 

Severally bating, that fmce the open- 

» 3 February. ^ 9 February. 
' 25th February. 

2 ing 

[ 27 ] 

Ing the trade to Africa, the fame has great- 
ly increafed by the confumption of our 
manufactures, the increase of navi- 
gation, and the better fupplying the 
plantations with negroes, infomuch that 

TION : That themfelves and families, and 
many hundred other families, have been 
greatly fuppor ted by that trade; and pray- 
ing that the trade to Africa may be pre- 
served AND ENCOURAGED, and fettled 
under fuch regulations, as may tend to the 
benefit of all her Majefly's fubjeds. 

Our clofe and dear friends of Scot- 
land, men of the world, fent up from 
the BURGH OF MoNTRossE'', from In- 
vernesses from Gl A s GOV/ \ their pe^ 
titionsy praying that no exclufive privi- 
leges may be granted to any fociety or 
company, to their prejudice , and that the 
trade may remain open and free. 

On the 26 March 1730°, 3 Geo. II. 

^ 29 January. * 9 February. *" 4 March. 

^ Journals of the Houle of Commons, Vol. XXI. 


[ 28 3 

Sir Nathaniel Curzon reported to the 
Houfe of Commons the refolutions of the 
committee of the whole houfe, upon the 
flate ^ of the trade to Africa -, Firft, That 
it is the opinion of this committee, that 
the trade to Africa ought always to 
REMAIN free and open to all his Majefty's 
fubjeds : which, upon the queflion, was 
refohed. And Mr. Chancellor of 
THE Exchequer acquainted the houfe, 
that his Majefly recommended to their 
conlideration the making fuch provifion, 
as the Houfe fliould think proper, towards 
the fupport and maintenance of the forts and 

23 Geo. II. c. 31, entitled, " An Adl 
*' for extending and improving the Trade to 
*' Africa." The preamble declares [as 
was ever before declared] the trade to and 
from Africa is very advantageous to 
Great Britain 5 and the trade ought 
TO BE free and open to all his Ma- 
jefty's fubjedls. Section 2 incorporates 
the traders by the name of The Com- 

^ 1 8th February, 1729. 


[ ^9 ] 

PANY OF Merchants trading to 
Africa. Sedion 3 vefts the forts, {qI- 
tlements and fadories, &c. of the Royal 
'African Company, in the New- 

25 Geo. II. c. 40, divefts The Royal 
African Company of their charter, 
lands, forts. Sec. and vefts the fame in 
The Company of Merchants trad- 
ing TO Africa. 

4 Geo. III. c. 20, recites the 23 Geo. IL 
c. 31, and veils the port of Senegal, 
and its dependencies, in The Company 
of Merchants trading to Africa. 

5 Geo. III. c, 44, recites 23 and 25 
Geo. II. before cited; and repeals 4 Geo. 
HI. c. 20, and vefts Senegal, v^^ith its 
dependencies, in the Crown. Declares 
the trade to Africa open to all his 
Majefty's fubjeds. 

23 Geo. III. c. 65, repeals (upon the 
preliminaries of peace, ligned at Ver^ 
SAiLLES, on the 20th day of January, 
1783, it being agreed that the fort of 
Senegal, and its dependencies, fhould 
be ceded to His Most Christian Ma- 

[ 3° I 
JESTY, who, on his part, guarantied to 
His Majefty the polTeflion of Fort 
James, and the river Gambia, as 
the preamble ftates) 5 Geo. III. c. 44, and 
veils Fort James, and the river 
Gambia, and their dependencies, and all 
other the forts, lands, caftles, fettlements, 
and fadories, on the coafl: of Africa, in 
THE African Company, under all the 
fame regulations, rules, government, and 
rcftriftions, as formerly tinder 23 Geo. 11. 
and enadls, that the trade to and from 
Africa shall continue free and 
OPEN to all His Majelly's fubjedts. 

The anfwer to the maxim, that all men 
by a natural right are born free, I conceive 
is very reafonably and fairly this : A man 
w^ho is neither by nature nor indufiry pre- 
pared for a right way of living, fhould, 
upon account of his own weaknefs and in- 
capacity, be under the controul of others. 
But the governing under this rule ought 
by no means fo to be exercifed, as to tram- 
ple down the duties of humanity ; for then 
thCj one nation can have no title to dif- 
tindion more than the other, but they 


[ 31 ] 

mufc equally fland on a level with the 
brutifi nations of Africa, But you may 
fay, there is fcarce any man fo dull and 
flupid, but he fancies it will be more pro- 
per and convenient for him to live ac- 
cording to his own inclinations, than to fiib- 
mit himfelf to the command, and to the 
pleafure of another. This I think too. 
For my part, I blefs my God that I was 
born your fellow -fubjed:, under a confli- 
tution the moji glorious, and the nearefl 
to heavenly wifdom, that is in human power 
to form. 

Yet, however this be the darling of the 
mind, it cannot be endured in all its lite- 
ral fenfe and fpirit, becaufe it would cer- 
tainly tend to diftrad: tiie world. Man 
muft be governed by laws. 

When part of the fubjeds are lifted into 
armed troops, the diftind:ion of the fol^ 
diery and the country immediately arifes. 

Different motives adtuate different coun- 
tries and their foldiers ^ but they are all 
agreed that conqueji is a valid title. 

The NATIVES OF Africa war almoft 
every man upon every man, and the con- 

[ 32 ] 

queror gains an abfolute power over The 


vanquifhed; eats or sells his prifoners; 
nay, fo favage and brutifh, that the natives 
fell even their neareft relations, wives and 
children not excepted j and they kill and 
facrifice their Haves at the funerals of their 
great perfons. 

The thoughts you entertain of abolifli- 
Ing your trade with them, feem the fure 
means of furnifhing them with oppor- 
tunities of abundant fe aft s and hearty meals. 
There are nations and people who would 
be happy to be left to the enjoyment of 
the plenteoufnefs and abundance of their 
own country! 

I cannot think this idea, which 
you feem to have taken up, has any one 
lingle feature to maintain and reveal the 
Chriftian religion : yet the barbarous cruel- 
ty, if any fuch you know, of furprifing and 
carrying off whole families of negroes by 
Jiealthy ought to be made public by you, 
and the wicked con fpira tors punifhed. 

The ftatute 23 Geo. II. c. 31, fee. 29, 
enadts, " No commander or mailer of 

" any 

[ 33 ] 
" any flilp trading to Africa, fhall by 
** f randy forces or violence ^ or by any otlier 
** indireSi praBice whatfoever, take on 
** board, or carry away from the coaft of 
** Africa, any negroe or native of the faid 
" country, or commit, or fuffer to be 
** committed, ajiy violence on the natives, 
** to the prejudice of the faid trade ; and 
** that every perfon fo offending fhall, for 
** every fuch offence, forfeit the fum of 
** ;{^.ioo, of lawful money of Great 
*' Britain : one moiety to the company 
•* hereby eflablifhed, and the other to the 
" informer." 

Nor are you right as to your idea that 
the trade is urmecejjary, in as much as thofe 
of that race of people already fettled in 
the Wefl Indies, are of fufficient numbers 
to keep up an adequate increafe. 

JVojnen with child are for a Ion? time of 


no afliflance ; fo too in niirjing their chil- 

Children, with great trouble and expence 

brought up, are little better thd^n fpe£iators, 

till they arrive at the age oi Jixteen or 

feventeen ; Jicknefs and cajualties attend 

them all. 

C You 

[ 34 ] 

Vou have apprentices -, you have chil- 
dren of your own. If your confidentiat 
partner, or man whom you hire, fliould 
be taken off by ficknefs or any other ca- 
fuahy, or only laid up j fhould you, who 
are fathers, meet fuch like fate in your 
own perfons ; is your apprentice compe- 
tent ? Are your infant children competent ? 
Mufl not the furviving partner, muft not 
your own familiesy^f/^y^r ajjijlance F JufI: fo 
the colonies mufl have a refource. 

The \dit2.Qi'i manumitting thofe 'm the Weft 
Indies cannot remain with you a fmgle 
moment. Manumit them — well! — the 
fubjed: becomes that inftant deprived of 
his property, vv^ithout even an imputation 
of any crime that in its magnitude ex- 
tends, upon A LEGAL TRIAL AND CON- 
VICTION, to fuch facrifice. I do not like 
even a dream of this. I will take the 
point temperately. Suppofe you ?nanumit 
thefe people ; fome might be prevailed 
with to work ; the greater numbers would 
lounge ; their former mailers mull difmifs 
them ; no provifion, no houfes, no care : 
you would hear that, within eight and 
forty hours f all the comftrts of focial life, 


[ 35 J 

and the advantages of true religion, were 
kicked into the fea, and the moft abomina- 
ble dilbrders and outrages committed : there 
would not be a fmgle white perlbn but 
would be in daneer of being; eat up, and 
the women ravijijeci. You would then have 
to fend a fleet and army to reduce thofe 
miferabie wretches; and well might they 
then exclaim, 

Libertas et nataie folum. 

Fine words ! Where the devil did you fleal 
them ? And you : There were never better 

Jlaves, but never war Je free men. 

Other dan2:ers would furround thofe 
who efcaped the lavages fury and knife : 
frripped of the moft valuable part of their 
property, nay the whole, for the land can- 
not till itfelf, they would be devoured by 
merchants, eat up by BONDS; and the 
effed. of your intended clemency and hu- 
manity would jufl amount to the placing 

fjackies and fnifery upon the proprietors of 
thofe devoted eftates. 

But your philanthropy exercifed in this 

manner, could not fail to induce you to be ' 

happy in the honour of the addreffes of 

C 2 fome 

[ 36 ] 

fome prince of Hombutt or Mandinga, Gago, 
Cano or Dahomey or a malTa ^mco, or a 
mafia Sambo, or fome other Jiich prince or 
majfa, to your daughters ; fo fome of you 
may have the honour of fome of thefe to 
attempt the chaftity of your wives j fo 
fome of t/jeje may in time command your 
fleets y your armies ^ have dignity in the fenate: 
in fhort, you may be able to produce as 
mottled an affemblage of faces as ^^ny foot 
or brick dufi can daub. 

Some influence, upon this topick of li- 
berty, is gone among you, I underjfland, 
from refolutions of the like philanthropy 
faid to be about to be formed by the 

The groffeft abfurdity ! Negroe 


whole government is an absolute 


I do not believe His Most Chris- 
tian Majesty ever entertained a fha- 
dow^ of thought of any fuch par- 
tiality. I believe however, it would 
be pleafmg to France were our trade 
with Africa abolished. While I fay 


[ 37 ] 
this, I fhall give you good reafons for my 

The early flour idling flate of our fugar 
trade alarmed our neighbours, and put 
them upon ways to circwnvejit our trade, 
as the only means to put a ftop to the 
growiitg jlrength of Great Britain, 
which they feared might become too 
formidable, from the great increafe of sea- 
men AND SHIPPING employed in the 
West India and Guinea trades, 
both flourifhino; at the fame time. 

The French fpared no coft or labour 
to r/i;^/ Great Britain; for which purpofe 
they embraced every opportunity to en- 
large and improve THEIR sugar PLAN- 
TATIONS; and where the planter was not 
able to complete his works himfelf, pro- 
per utenfils were fent over from France at 
the publick charge, and the crown, as 
my author maintains, trufted them for fe- 
yeral years without interejl. 

Their fugar colonies being eftabllfhed, 
the next thing they had in view was, to 
beat the Britifh merchants out of the fo^ 
reign markets, for fugar; by giving liberty 


[ 38 ] 
for their fhips to carry their fugars diredily 
to the foreign markets, while ours were 
obliged to import all into Great Britairiy 
to the almoft utter ruin of the Britijh co- 

The Royal African Company's Petition 
to Parliament', for the prefervation of 
their trade, fhews you, attempts of fo- 
reign NATIONS to gain this trade; fliews 
vou, the natives of Africa impofed what 
they pleafedj the prices of goods imported 
to Guinea lelTened, and the price of ne- 
srroes advanced, which was fomented 
BY FOREIGNERS, who hoped thereby to 
engrofs the trade to themfelves. 

They ^ fhew you alfo their fort, Succun- 
dee Fort, on the Gold Coaft, was deftroyed 
by the negroes, at the inftigation of the 
Butch Wefi India Company. 

That Commenda Fort, on the fame coaft, 
was built, notwithflanding _ the repeated 

'"• Journals of the Houfe of Commons, vol. XVI. 
2Cth January, 1708. 

^ Journals of the Houfe of Commons, vol. XXI. 
6th March, 1729, 3 Geo. II. 


[ 39 ] 

endeavours of the Dutch to prevent the 

If you will open your eyes and exer- 
cife your faculties, look to the prelimi- 
naries of the laft peace, ligned at Ver- 
sailles, 2oth January, 1783, recited 
under 23 Geo, III. c. 65. the preamble 
and firfl fedlion. From hence you gain a 
modern inftance of the ambition of our 
rival power. Take care that you graze 
not in your paftures any foal o^the blood oi 
the Trojan horfe. 

God forbid that my pen fhould ever ex- 
prefs, or my heart ever conceive, the leafl 
fentiment derogatory from the Cbrijlian 
Religion as ejlablifloed by the Church of Eng- 
land, or adopt the leaft inclination for a 
reftraint of it in any part of the globe. 

I have taken this fide of the prefent 
queftion for the reafons, and wholly 
through the motives, I have fubmitted to 
you; but if there are any means of con- 
verting to Chrillianity this race of brutifi 
people, I fhall fubfcribe my commenda- 
tions as warmly and as heartily as any 
among you. One very powerful impedi- 

[ 4« ] 
mcnt in your way is, their cuftom of 

A flave applied to his mafter in Bar- 
badces, that he might be baptized and 
become a Chriflian^ his mafter received 
his ibiicitation courteoaily, and with warm 
approbation. His mailer lent to the cler- 
gyman of the pariili, and renuefted the fa- 
vour of his attendance. The clergyman 
accordingly attended; but he conceived it 
proper to afk fome questions of the ne- 
groe, and accordingly examined him in 
thofe points in which children are iirft 
inilrud:ed. The negroe's anfvv'ers were 
very fatisfacflory ; but one unfortunate mat- 
ter won back the negroe to his paganifm. 
The clergyman aflced whether he had a 

wife : the anfwer was in the affirmative. 


** Have you any m.ore than one wife ?" 
** O, yes, maffa, me hsve two more.'' 
" You muft give up* two of thefe, for, 
" you muft have but one wife, as a 
** ChriHian," faid the clergyman. ** No 
** maffa, be you Chrijlian; me be as I am^ 
** me no give up me wives." For the en- 
joyment of a plurality of wives they would 
10 be 

[ 41 ] 

be as the Frenchman in the pantomime 
when he is afked, of what reHgion are you ? 

* * Vat ev er you pleafe . ' ' 

^lod 72atiu'a dedit nemo toller e potejl. 

With one comfort however I fliall leave 
you, that a regular miniflry and the public 
worfhip of God, as eftablilhed by the 
Church of England, are, in no land, better 
fettled, or publick worfhip more uniformly 
and generally and devoutly attended than in 
Barbadoes j the very ground work of re- 
commending our religion to the Ethio- 
pians; which religion, I humbly fubmit, 
can never be propagated by prejjing arbi- 
trarily the minds of men; nor by any 


While a deportment affable and courte- 
ous, peculiarly hofpitable to all flrangers, 
and a heart full of good will and benignity 
to every man, and of the moil; flern pro- 
bity, added to found orthodox doctrine, 
eminently diftinguifli a good man and an 
exemplary divine, no congregation upon 
earth is more bleft than the cono^re^ation 
of tl&e Redoty of Saint Michael, Bridge 
D Town, 

[ 42 ] 
Town, Barbadoes, with the Gofpel from 
the pulpit of the prefent Rector, the reverend 
Tho7nas Wharton^ DoSior in Divinity. 

It is fomewhat remarkable, that in all 
the declamations and animated difcourfes 
that have been deliver'd to draw you into 
an opinion of cruelties and barbarifms, 
exercifed in the Plantations, of equal 
ferocity with the natives of Africa : In all 
the commendable zeal that hath ilTued forth 
out of the pulpit here, for the propagation 
of the Gofpel in foreign parts, no man, or 
men, have ever propofed to go themfelves, 
with the virtues and exemplary piety of 
their own hearts, (who fo fit as fuch ?) and 


here, for the fake of the gofpel and righte- 

oufnefs, in countries fo declared to ftand in 

fo much need. 

Yet fhould any one fiich come forward, 

and, upon this, wifli to go to Barbadoes, 

I fhould tell that man he was guilty of a 

flander, not upon the clergy alone, but 

upon the white inhabitants of the Illand 

at large. 

Let the warmth and virtues of his heart 
oi lead 

[ 43 1 ;> 

lead his progrefs to the coajl of Africa j 
teach there, 'till they 

" Their wildnefs lofe, and quitting nature's part^ 
" Obey the rules and difcipline of art." 

And then the flatutes of Barbadoes may 
be happy enough to find reafon to expunge 
thefe unpleafant founds, *' For as much 
** as the Negroes and other flaves brought 
** unto the people of this Ifland are of 
*' barbarous y wild and favage nature.^' 
And the great work will be efFeded. 

Thomas Maxwell Adams. 

Ranelagh Street, 
near Lower Grofvenor Place, 
ift March 1788.